Harvest Market aims to connect customers, food producers at proposed Carmel store 


A Harvest Market grocery store has been proposed to fill the site of a former Marsh in Merchants’ Square.

Illinois-based Niemann Foods has filed documents with the City of Carmel to begin the process of renovating the 75,000-square-foot space at 2140 E. 116th St. It is expected to employ more than 200 people.

“It’s a great location,” said Gerry Kettler, who handles consumer affairs for Niemann Foods. “Carmel just seemed to be a perfect fit for this type of store.”

Kettler described Harvest Market as a “mission-driven” store that will offer organic and traditional groceries in a transparent manner. It will provide signage for customers on where and how much of the food was made and offer frequent opportunities for customers to meet the farmers or producers behind the products and hear their stories.

“You’ll not just be able to buy the product, but at different points meet the maker,” Kettler said. “It’s very interactive.”

The store plans to take an active role in producing some of its products, such as using dairy products from local farmers to churn its own butter. The end result will be sold on shelves as well as used at an on-site restaurant.

Kettler said renovations to the building will be substantial.

“It will be an entirely new experience, especially on the inside,” Kettler said. “It’s a gut rehab.”

Marsh anchored the shopping center until the grocery chain closed in the summer of 2017. The Carmel Clay Public Library used the site for two years, moving out in July 2022, as a temporary location while its main campus was renovated.

Niemann Foods, which was founded in 1917, is an associate-owned company that operates more than 130 stores throughout the Midwest.

The Harvest Market brand has stores in Champaign and Springfield, Ill., and the Carmel site will be its first in Indiana. Kettler said Niemann Foods is looking to continue growing the brand.

Learn more at goharvestmarket.com.